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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

504                    THE   RABBIT   OF   POPOCATEPETL                   CHA
pointed out by Professor "W. INT. Parker.1 These differences ha^
led some to approve of its separation from the Hares into a genu
Oryetolagus. This animal is believed to be an introduced specie
and to have been brought by man into these islands. Its origins
home is the Spanish Peninsula, the south of France, Algiers, an
some of the Mediterranean islands. Mr. ."Lydekker thinks tha
the only other species of Eepus which can be considered to be
" Babbit " is the Asiatic L. hispidus.
Of Hares there are two species in this country.    The Commo]
Hare, L*  europaeus   (the   name  L.   timidus   seems   to   be   reall;
applicable to another species to be referred to presently), extend
all   over   Europe   excepting   the   extreme   north   of   Hussia   anc
Scandinavia.     It is not known in Ireland, and., curiously enough
attempts to acclimatise this animal in that island have failed—i
state  of affairs which  contrasts with  the  fatal  ease with whicl:
the   Habbit   has  been   introduced into  Australia.      Ireland   has
however, the Variable Hare, L. tim.idus (also called L. variabilis)
a species which is common in other parts of Europe, and whicl]
extends as far east  as  Japan.     This species differs from its allj
by  the  fact  that  it  often  turns white  in  -winter  with  the  ex-
ception of the black  tips  to the ears.     In  Ireland  this change
does not always occur; but Mr. Barrett-Hamilton has commented
upon   the fact that  Hares  of   this   species   do   change   on   Irish
mountains.     It appears that in this animal the change from the
winter to the summer dress is accomplished by the actual casting
off of the "white hairs and their replacement  by a  fresh  growth
of " blue"   hairs.     A  similar   change   occurs   in   the   American
Jj. amerieanus.
Dr. Forsyth Major has noted the fact that the various species
of Hares can be distinguished by the condition of the furrows
upon the upper incisors. Thus two African species, Z. crawshayi
and L. whytei, are to be separated by the fact that in the former
the incisors are quite flat, whereas in L. whytei the groove is
more prominent and there is a second shallow furrow.
The genus HomerQlagus2 is quite a recent discovery. It
occurs on the slopes of Popocatepetl in Mexico; it has the
general aspect of the last genus, and is spoken of as a " Rabbit."
It inhabits runs in the long grass which clothes the sides of the
1 Proc. 2ool* Soc. 1881, p. 624.
2 Proc. JSioL JSoc. Washington* x. 1896, p. 169.